BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK

We finally got a day without rain yesterday! The sun was peeking through hazy skies, so we decided to take a drive to the Badlands. About seven miles south of Wall along highway 240 is Badlands National Park. Did you know that Badlands National Park encompasses 244,000 acres? There is an admission charge…unless you purchased a Senior Citizen National Park Pass like we did a couple of years ago. Highway 240 is called the Badlands Loop which is about a 30 mile stretch of two land highway curving around and up and down the beautiful Badlands.

You can start the Badlands Loop at Wall and head east on 240 like we did. If you do, you will exit the Badlands close to Interstate 90 about 20 miles east of Wall. If you are coming from eastern South Dakota and heading west on Interstate 90, you can start the Badlands Loop by getting off Interstate 90 at Exit 131 and take highway 240 west (you will exit the Badlands about seven miles south of Wall; you can get back on Interstate 90 at Wall). Keep an eye out for the Badlands Loop signs or you might miss the exit.

If you are in this area, you really MUST NOT miss driving through the Badlands. It is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. It is very unusual scenery, but it has its own unique beauty that will leave you mesmerized. I can honestly say that pictures do not and cannot depict its beauty; you MUST see it in person in all its 3D glory. If the sun would have been fully out and the sky a crystal blue, my pictures might have come out better. Oh, well. I think you’ll get the idea how beautiful the Badlands are anyway.

YES!!! These two buffalo were about 150 yards from us when we took the previous picture by the national park sign! TRUST ME! We did not take our eyes off of them for long, just in case they started our direction.

Can you see the big horn sheep at the top of that rock formation?

This picture might help you find those sheep.

Can you find the prairie dogs in the next several pictures? They are kind of hard to see. If you zoom in, you might be able to find them.

Look around the middle of this picture. He is standing up on his hind legs.

This one is kind of hard to see because he blends in with the color of the dirt. He is peeking over the mound from the top right side.

This one has its tail up. These prairie dogs were so fun to watch. They make a funny squeaking like noise. You have to stand very still and not make any noise or you scare them.

Awwwwwe! There’s our OWN little prairie dog! 😉

When we finished driving through the Badlands we were ready to get on Interstate 90 West at Exit 131 and head towards Wall. What we didn’t realize was that the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site was right there at Exit 131. So, we decided to make a quick stop. The building we visited was like a visitors center. There were informational displays, a video telling about the history of the missile silos and the Cold War, and, of course, a small gift shop. We arrived late in the afternoon and they were going to be closing pretty soon, so we didn’t have much time to look around. If you put this on your “Places to Visit” list, you need to arrive earlier in the day. If you call ahead a month or two before your visit, you can even get an appointment for a guided tour of one of the actual missile silos.

We have really had a great time in Wall, SD, even though it’s been so rainy. Now on to our next destination.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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